Nature 'Put Out Of Joint'
This page expands on the question "But has not nature been 'put out of joint'?" and our answer to it. It has yet to be written (and some of the theology has still to be developed), but at present we have the following notes to get discussion and thinking started. Not in any particular order.
- We are trying to re-emphasise what had been overlooked in the widespread assumption that nature is under a curse, that the problem is us rather than it, with the attendant assumption that because it is so contaminated it will all be burned up and we will be 'rescued' out of it.
- Chris Gousmett once told me this parable, "Parents had gone out for a minute. During that time, the kids splashed their paint on the walls and carpets, they ripped the furniture, and generally created ruin. Parents came back, took the kids out of the house and burned the house down." It doesn't make sense! It is not the house that was to blame but the kids.
- Nature Put Out Of Joint: what does it really say or imply? It says that non-human parts of the creation no longer work as they should do. Not that they are contaminated or somehow 'dirty' and to be incinerated like a dirty bandage. So, let us consider this ...
- Weeds and other Inconveniences: we have already seen many of these could be so because we have wrong goals and expectations.
- Cancer: the growth of some of our cells in uncontrolled ways. What is the cause? Maybe a lifestyle different from what God intended, with too little joy, too little exercise, too much of what is immediately pleasurable. Laughter, for example, has been found to cure some types of cancer.
- Mosquitos: Surely these are not due to our lifestyle. Even if they don't give malaria, they are a nuisance. First, how did mosquitos come to bear malaria in the first place? Until we answer that, we cannot say whether malaria is perhaps like cancer in possibly being due to our own activity. But what is 'nuisance'? If self-giving is part of God's fabric of good creation, then why should I not give a little of my blood to a mosquito?
- It is good that this era of time is not the final one, but as a kind of training ground for us. In Real Life God will entrust us with what he deems we can truly cope with, and there there will be none of these distortions. Jesus said "If you cannot look after the belongings of another, who will trust you with what is truly your own?"
These pages present 'New View' theology. Comments, queries welcome, to "xn @ basden . u-net . com".
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Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2003-4, but you may copy this page as long as every copy includes this full copyright notice, and the copying is not for financial gain.
Created: 30 December 2003.